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My favorite subject at school is history, so the history of England is very interesting for me too. Elizabeth the First and Mary Stuart are very important persons in the history of England. The struggle of Queen Elizabeth and the Queen of Scots often is told in literature, theater, and it is very famous. This moment was very dramatic and made the future of England.
I have seen a perfromance about Mary Stuart and Elizabeth the First,and it made me curious in this part of history of England. It seemed to me the most interesting part in the English history.
I wanted to know more about Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth, her rival; about those times, in which Mary Stuart lived.
I was interested in: who was Mary Stuart, what was the story of her life, why wasn’t she the Queen of England, what did she struggle for; why was she executed.
Working with this materials, I wanted to answer my questions and find new of interesting facts Mary’s biography.
1. The beginning of Elizabeth’s career
Weary of the barbarities of Bloody Queen Mary’s reign, the people looked with hope and gladness to the new Sovereign. The nation seemed to wake up from a horrible dream.
Queen Elizabeth was twenty- five years old when she rode through the streets of London, from the Tower to Westminster Abbey to be crowned.
She was not beautiful, but she was well enough, and looked all the better for coming after the gloomy Mary. She was well educated, clever, but cunning and deceitful, and inherited much of her father’s violent temper. She began her reign with the grate advantage of having a very vise and careful minister, Sir. William Cecil.
2. Mary’s appearens and the story of the conflict
The one great trouble of this reign was Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. She was the daughter of the Queen Regent of Scotland, Mary of Guise. She had been married, when a mere child to Dauphin, the son and heir of the King of France. The Pope, who pretended that no one could rightfully wear the crown of England without his gracious permission, was strongly opposed to Elizabeth, as the Roman Church had never recognized the marriage of Henry the Eight’s and Ann Boleyn, Elizabeth’s the First mother. And as Mary Queen of Scots would have inherited the English crown in right of her birth, supposing the English Parliament not to have altered the succession, the Pope and most of his followers maintained that Mary was the rightful Queen of England, and Elizabeth the wrongful Queen. After her marriage to Dauphin Mary became closely connected with France, and France was jealous of England, so there was far greater than it would have been without her alliance with the great power. And after death of her husband’s father Dauphin became Francis the Second, King of France, and the matter grew very serious. The young royal couple wanted to be English King and Queen, and the Pope was disposed to help them.
3. Political situation in Scotland
Now, the reformed religion, under the guidance of a stern and powerful preacher, named John Knox, had been making progress in Scotland. It was still a half-savage country, where there was a great deal of murdering and rioting continually going on, and the Reformers instead of reforming this evils as they should have done, went to work in the ferocious old Scottish spirit, laying churches and chapels waste, pulling down pictures and altars.
The Scottish reformers secretly represented to Elizabeth that, if the reformed religion failed in their country , it would be the same in England. Thus, Elizabeth, though she had a high notion of the rights of Kings and Queens to do anything they liked, sent an army to Scotland to support the Reformer, who were in arms against their sovereign. Mary and her young husband renounced their assumed title of King and Queen of England. But this treaty they never fulfilled.
4. Struggle alone
Soon, the young French King died, living Mary a young widow. She was then invited by her old Scottish subjects to return home and reign over them. She wasn’t happy in France after her husband’s death, so she left for Scotland. It happened in 1561. Elizabeth had been Queen for three years when Mary Queen of Scots embarked at Calais for her own country. She was very fond of France, and set on the deck, looking back and weeping «Farewell France! Farewell France! Is hall never see you again!»
5. Elizabeth obtained her own way
When Mary came to Scotland and settled at the palace of Holyrood in Edinburg, she find herself among strangers and wild customs, very different from the court of France .John Knox himself often lectured her, violently and angrily, and did much to make her life unhappy. All this reasons con-firmed her old attachment to the Romish religion.
Thus, from the moment of Mary’s coming to England she began to be the center of plots and miseries. A rise of the Catholics in the north was the next of these, and it was only checked by many executions and much bloodshed. It was followed by a great conspiracy of the Pope and some Catholics sovereign of Europe to depose Elizabeth, place Mary on the throne, and restore the unreformed religion. At last, one great plot was discovered, and it ended the career of Mary. Her letters were found. Queen Elizabeth had been warned long ago that in holding Mary alive, she held the «wolf, who would devour her.» The question was: what to do with her? The Earl of Leicester wrote a little note, recommending to poison her. His advice was disregarded, and Mary was brought to trial at Fotheringey Castle in Northamptonshire, before a tribunal of forty, composed of both religions. The Queen Elizabeth asked to consider some means of saving Mary’s life. The Parliament answered: «No». They supposed that all the troubles would be ended by the death of the Queen of Scots.
Elizabeth wished one thing more than Mary’s death, and that was to keep of blame of it.
Only on the 1 of February, 1587, the Queen signed the warrant for the execution. So, on the 7 of February, the Earls of Kent and Shrewsbery, with the Sheriff of Northamptonshire, came with the warrant to Fotheringey, to tell the Queen of Scots to prepare for death.
6. Tragic struggle
When the messengers were gone, Mary made a frugal supper, read over her will, went to bed, slept for some hours, and then passed the reminder of the night saying prayers.
While the sentence was being read, Mary sat upon a stool, and, when it was finished, she again denied her guilt, as she had done before.
Some say, her head was struck off in two blows, some say in three. When it was held up, streaming with blood, the real hair beneath the false hair she had long worn was seen to be as gray as that of a woman of seventy, though she was only in her 46 years.
So, the life of Mary Stuart was very tragic and romantic, full of adventures and evils. Her struggle for crown cost her life. When I was looking for materials, I read books, saw a performance, and now I know more about Mary Stuart Queen of Scots and not only about her. I know more about Queen Elizabeth, her rival in struggle for the crown of England.
Mary had full rights for crown of England, she fought for it, and she failed in this struggle. This fact is often in literature because it is the first moment in history when the person of royal blood was executed.
We don’t know what could be, if Mary Stuart stay alive and became the Queen of England. Of course, the history would develop in other way. But the reign of Elizabeth was the glorious one, and is made for ever memorable. Apart from the great voyages, statesmen and scholars, whom it produced, the names of Francis Bacon, Spencer, Shakespeare, will be always remembered in the civilized world. It was good reign for commerce, discovery, and for England in whole.
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